This webinar will provide an overview of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, a humanitarian form of immigration relief for children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected by a parent. We will also discuss emerging issues, including trends in USCIS adjudications and immigration courts.
Rachel Prandini, Staff Attorney - ILRC
Rachel is one of ILRC’s staff attorneys based in San Francisco. Rachel focuses on immigrant youth issues, including unaccompanied minors and immigrant youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Rachel provides technical assistance and trainings to immigration and state court attorneys, social workers, and judges. She works on statewide and national policy that affects the rights of immigrant youth and is frequently consulted for her expertise in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Rachel co-authored the ILRC’s publication Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Other Immigration Options for Children and Youth.
Prior to joining the ILRC, Rachel represented detained and released unaccompanied minors in removal defense and led a project focusing on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status at Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project in Los Angeles. While at Esperanza, Rachel also performed "Know Your Rights" work in southern California immigration detention centers for minors. Previously, Rachel worked as an associate at Paul Hastings, LLP and volunteered as a Child Advocate for unaccompanied minors.
Rachel earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis, where she was a member of the Immigration Law Clinic and worked on complex deportation defense cases and detention issues. She received her undergraduate degree from Westmont College, where she double-majored in philosophy and political science. Rachel is admitted to the bar in California. She is conversant in Spanish.
Sara Van Hofwegen, Supervising Staff Attorney - Immigrant’s Rights Project at Public Counsel
Sara Van Hofwegen is a supervising staff attorney in the Immigrant’s Rights Project at Public Counsel. At Public Counsel, Sara supervises the Unaccompanied Children’s team. Sara and the UC team defend unaccompanied children from removal from the United States, representing them in removal proceedings, in state court, and before the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Prior to joining Public Counsel, Sara was the Managing Attorney at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, where she worked collaboratively with law enforcement and community partners and provided holistic legal services to survivors of human trafficking, including criminal victim-witness, civil, and immigration advocacy. Sara also regularly provides training and technical assistance on unaccompanied children, human trafficking and immigration issues in California and throughout the country. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law.